Seoul / Modernity in Seoul during the Japanese Occupation

During Japanese occupation, the sectors of agriculture and industry has been largely developed in Korea. Japanese immigrated to Korea during this period to work mainly as farmers where they expropriated Koreans workers, they also exploited mines (they owned 80% of them) which were directly transformed in the valleys of Tyumen and Yalu. In 1945, 20% of the Japanese industrial production is coming from Korea, indeed, Japan mostly invested on industry (in 1919, 91% of the investments in factories in Korea were Japanese) and particularly metalwork industries. This exploitation of lands initially belonging to Korea and the misery in which Korean workers were let is one of the many acts of cruelty Japan has been blamed for. However, this exploitation also permit to improve the industries and the establishment of many schools to educate populations (working for Japanese) in Korea.

This picture is showing the different industrial sectors and the numbers of factories existing in Japan and Korea in 1917 and the amount of capital for each sector.


Seoul - Modernity under the japanese occupation - Juliette Valat
Photography of the First Locomotive Engine in Korea ©1899 in “A Review of Korean History Vol. 3 Modern/Contemporary Era” written by Han Young Woo (2010)


1 Comment on “Seoul / Modernity in Seoul during the Japanese Occupation

  1. I agree that while plundering the resources of Korea, the Japanese set up very good infrastructure system and industrial foundation. This happens to nearly all the colonies across the the world. However, native people never feel grateful about it, because it is always for the purpose of plundering resources. And also as you mentioned, the Japanese only chose some industries to move to the colonies, and kept the high-tech ones or ones that serves people in Japan.

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